I made these delicious sammies for a picnic by the creek yesterday. So so so good!


  • 1 loaf of french bread; sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 – 1 recipe roasted red pepper sandwich spread
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 8 oz thinly sliced honey ham
  • 8 oz thinly sliced black forest ham
  • 6 slices havarti cheese


  • 1 (8 oz) pkg light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh minced basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste

Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Store in the fridge up to 3 days.

Simply spread the sandwich spread on the inside of each piece of bread and build your sandwich. Cut into desired serving slices.



Ahhh, the South. What do we do to healthy veggies? Add bacon, of course. Don’t knock it til you tried it. Shut up, Cholesterol, you’re fine.


  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large head cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Cook the bacon in a jumbo cooker over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease and discard the rest.
  2. In the same jumbo cooker, return the 2 tablespoons bacon grease. Over medium-high heat, cook the onion until it is soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for an additional 1 minute. Stir in the cabbage and continue to cook and stir for 4-5 minutes. Add the seasoned salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Mix well.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
  4. Just before serving, mix the bacon into the cooked cabbage. Serve immediately.

Source: Love Bakes Good Cakes


Fried Okra

I love fried okra, it’s always been a special summer treat in our family. This recipe is from the Southern Living Heirloom Recipe Cookbook.

Fried Okra


  • 2 pound fresh okra
  • 3/4 cup Salt
  • 2 cups plain cornmeal
  • Canola Oil

Slice okra. Combine 3 qt. water with salt, pour over okra. Soak for 30 minutes, drain & rinse twice. Dredge okra, in batches in cornmeal. Pour oil in a dutch oven. Heat to 375. Fry okra in batches for 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.


Sweet Potato Casserole

If you’re Southern, you’ve had this. Probably at your grandmother’s table. No holiday meal then or now is complete without this Southern Classic! Enjoy!


  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 14 cup margarine, melted
  • 12 cup milk
  • 12 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 13 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 13 cup margarine, melted
  1. In large mixing bowl,mix sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, margarine,milk and vanilla.
  2. Pour into 9 inch square greased baking dish.
  3. Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over potatoes.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes .
  5. Can be doubled and baked in 9×13 dish.

Honey-Mustard Glazed Ham

I made this delicious ham for Easter dinner. It was from the Pioneer Woman and was just delicious. We loved it!

1 12- to 15-pound fully cooked bone-in ham

1/2 tsp. whole cloves

1/2 c. dijon mustard

1/2 c. honey

1/2 tsp. black pepper

  1. For the ham: Preheat the oven to 325 ̊ Fahrenheit. Score the surface of the ham with a sharp knife in a diamond pattern, about 1/4 inch deep. Stick the cloves in between the diamonds.
  2. Place the ham on a rack in a large roasting pan, tent it with foil and bake until warmed through, about 2 hours.
  3. For the glaze: Mix the mustard, honey and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4. Remove the ham from the oven and uncover. Brush with half of the glaze, making sure to get it in the scored lines. Return to the oven, uncovered, and hake until the ham looks glossy, about 20 minutes. Brush with the remaining glaze and bake until just beginning to caramelize, about 20 more minutes.
  5. Remove the ham from the oven and let rest 15 to 20 minutes. 

Source: Pioneer Woman

Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

How have I waited this many years before visiting this beautiful gem in the middle of a big city?  We went this weekend and they were having a huge plant sale!  The whole place was super crowded, but after circling the lot twice, we lucked up in a parking spot.  Parking is free and entry is free!  What a gift to the people of Birmingham and its visitors!  

Though there appeared to be a ton of folks here, we never felt crowded.  The park is so spread out with something to see in every single corner.  We loved the conservatory with its water feature and tropical plants, the beautiful fountains, the winding paths to get to each area and the thoughtfully placed swings and benches along the way to rest your tootsies.  Far and away my favorite garden was the Japanese Garden.  

The Japanese Garden has a Tori Gate at the entrance to welcome you and it sets the tone perfectly for the wonders you are about to see.  Beautiful photo ops await with the koi pond, the meandering bridge, the turtles sunning themselves on the rocks and the tea garden.  Do not miss this.

We didn’t see everything we wanted, so I know I’ll be back when I’m in town again.  So peaceful and lovely.


Dinner Tonight: Chicken Parmesan with Fettucine Alfredo

Easy weeknight dinners are incredibly necessary to have in your arsenal. Add this one to your lineup!


  • 14 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 12 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt and garlic powder. In another bowl, beat the egg. Place the Parmesan cheese in a third bowl. Coat chicken in flour mixture, then dip in egg and roll in cheese.
  • In a skillet, brown chicken in oil on both sides. Transfer to a shallow 1-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray; drizzle with lemon juice. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until juices run clear.

Better-Than-Olive Garden® Alfredo Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons sweet butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (12 ounce) package angel hair pasta
  1. Melt butter and olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add cream, garlic, and white pepper; bring to just under a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir Parmesan cheese into cream mixture and simmer until sauce is thickened and smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. Add mozzarella cheese to sauce; cook and stir until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook angel hair in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and transfer pasta to serving plates. Spoon sauce over pasta.

Source: All Recipes


Creamy Olive Spread

A perfect addition to your charcuterie board with bagel chips and carrot sticks for dipping.

Creamy Olive Spread

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (4.25-ounce) can chopped black olives
  • ½ cup chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Crackers or pita chips
  1. Stir together first 6 ingredients and, if desired, salt. Serve with crackers.

Source: Southern Living


Baked Potato Soup

Perfect for these cold winter nights!

Baked Potato Soup

Source: A River’s Course, a Junior League Recipe p. 72

  • 4 Baking potatoes ; baked
  • 2/3 cup Butter
  • 2/3 cup Flour
  • 6 cups Milk
  • 1 cup Sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar ; divided
  • 12 slices Bacon ; cooked, crumbled and divided
  • 4-6 Green onions ; sliced
  • Salt and pepper ; to taste

1. Remove pulp from potato skins and set them aside.

2. Melt butter over medium heat; add flour and stir, over low heat, for 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add milk and simmer until thickened. Add potato pulp (it will appear lumpy).

3. Add sour cream, 1 cup cheese, half the bacon, and half the onion. Stir until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Soup will be thick. To thin, add more milk. Garnish with remaining cheese, onion, and bacon.


Chicken Banh Mi

Have you ever had one? My first one was when I turned 50. I’m hooked! These sammies are chocked full of fresh veggies in a slightly acidic sauce that compliments the chicken perfectly. This works best when the chicken is marinated for full flavor. Use your favorite, I made mine up with readily available ingredients in my fridge and pantry: lemon juice, olive oil, soy sauce, chili pepper sauce and garlic.

I grilled my chicken and toasted my rolls. These aren’t the typical rolls that I usually see for Banh Mi, but that’s what I had, and they were delish!

Chicken Banh Mi

  • Marinated, and grilled chicken breasts, sliced thin
  • Portgese Bread (or your favorite)
  • ½ Kirby cucumber, cut into thin strips
  • ¼ carrot, cut into thin strips
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper

In a small bowl, combine the cucumber, carrot, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, olive oil, and a pinch each salt and pepper. Marinate for 20 minutes and make your sammie!